This is the continuing account of the experience I had, which led to the creation of my latest book, Killer Storms.
Shortly after my family and their friends arrived from Punta Gorda, Hurricane Irma pounded their city hard. The news we got from the Weather Channel said the big storm was now headed north toward us in The Villages. There was nothing to do but wait it out. Minute by minute we all watched the weather. As Irma got closer, we watched for even the smallest change in the track of the storm. Sometimes it looked like it would stay mostly along the west coast of the state, and other times the forecast said it could drift inland with us right in the bulls-eye.
You learn a lot about people facing a threat. The reactions of each person in the house ranged from intense curiosity to outright fear. I can’t say we slept well. You always want to awake from a nightmare, only to find out the nightmare is the reality. It was difficult to talk with each other as if this was a social occasion, which it certainly was not. Instead, we got insights into each other’s views on life and other weighty matters you would never hear at the neighborhood barbeque. We worked hard to encourage and comfort one another. Hour by hour, the hurricane crept closer.
When the wind and rain got heavier, we congregated in the living room and watched TV. Nobody talked about what they were going to do next year, next week, even tomorrow. Our world had collapsed into what faced us in the immediate future. That future was unknown. It was a terrifying experience.
© 2020, Phil Walker. All rights reserved.